Dormant Seeding or Slit Seeding Today?

tercesOctober 23, 2012

Being the 23rd of October, I know I'm a little late to the game for slit seeding and starting new seed this year, and therefore was prepared to dormant seed within the next week. However, I've been reading we are to have a drier and warmer winter this year, and I fear that the seed will germinate over winter and not give me a good ratio this coming spring. Temps right now are highs of 45-65F and dip down to the lowest of 33F in the evenings. Relative humidity is around 80-95%. Ten day forecast still shows average of 50 for highs.

Am I too late in the game to slit seed and baby for germination this year? Am I going to have limited success for dormant seeding this year? Do I just sigh and wait for next year late summer/early fall (we lost a lot of our turf this season due to the extremely dry conditions).

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grass1950

Soil temperatures for optimal germination should be between 50 and 70 degrees for cool season grasses. Seed does not germinate at all well if the seed is planted deeper than 1/4 inch deep. As seeds are so near the surface, soil tempertures at the surface are closely related to the air temperatures. Recommended air temperatures for germination of cool season grasses varies from 60-85 degrees--KBG being at the low end and TTTF being able to germinate up into the higher temp. range. Cool season grasses take between 1 and 4 weeks to germinate. Seedlings need to then develope a root system and time to to get to the stage where they can store carbohydrates in order to survive freezing temperatures and winter dormancy. So seeding now will be a real crap shoot.
Dormant seeding is the second best process for lawn establishment. Seeding is done after temperatures fall (and will not rise until Spring) below the temperatures needed to induce germination (e.g. below 40) Usually sometime after Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:43PM
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jubileej(6a)

My lawn care company failed to tell me that the yellowy sections between fine greening up sections of my lawn were due to bent grass, and what to do about it - I only found out from getting estimates from other companies. Unfortunately, I had already tried to "beef up" those patches on my own with soil with fertilizer and new seed. Had to go zap the yellow stuff (including newly seeded patches) with Round-Up. We have had unseasonably warm weather a few weeks, and I was hoping to till and reseed now that the Round Up has just about done its thing. But, alas, hurricane-rains predicted for early next week! Is there any hope to be able to successfully plant this week-end if I cover with mulch of some sort? Or should I wait until spring - or even late summer?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:40PM
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hogan_nj

Round up is a good idea as is tenacity for bentgrass. How about laying sod? I don't know how big an area your talking about but I am putting down 900 sqft on Friday n it cost me about $220.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:52PM
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tiemco

For future reference, you can seed within hours of applying round up, it won't affect germination.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:10AM
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jubileej(6a)

Thanks, hogan. Am surprised the sod option was not more pricey. Still - a little over my spending allowance for now.
Sorry about re-asking on the re-seeding post - (had forgotten I had posted here earlier!)

How is your sod faring at this point?

And - again, how does one work seed into the soil for dormant seeding?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:45PM
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grass1950

The thawing and freezing cycles of the Winter season will work the seed into the soil.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:51AM
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hogan_nj

Well I am keeping my fingers crossed for the sod. It's been 2 weeks and has not taken root. I guess if temps were warmer,it may have taken by now.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 9:28PM
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